2-year-old hit, killed by recycling truck in Cave Creek - Fox 2 News Headlines

2-year-old hit, killed by recycling truck in Cave Creek

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Maricopa County Sheriff's officials say a 2-year-old child has died after he was hit by a recycling truck and became trapped underneath its tires.

This happened near 40th Street and Lone Mountain Wednesday afternoon in what appears to be a rural area.

Authorities say the truck apparently was backing up on a narrow dirt road when the child was struck.

The toddler and other children were playing outside when the accident occurred, and according to MCSO, the truck's driver apparently never saw the boy -- but the boy's family saw it all.

"The 2-year-old was seen by siblings as trying to get out of the truck's way.. they heard the beeping of the truck.. the 2-year-old boy apparently had what the children called a 'pokey' in his foot," said Lt. Brandon Jones.

Investigators say the boy was trying to get cactus needles out of his foot and stopped in the truck's path.

When emergency responders found the boy, he was dead underneath the truck.

MCSO says the truck's driver, Bernardo Hernandez, was on a normal route.

Neighbors returning home Wednesday night were horrified to hear the news.

"There's just no words.. it's horrible."

Sandra Murphy lives next door to where it all happened and sees Waste Management trucks back up here all the time.

"In order for the truck to come down the street, they have to have a 70 foot turnaround and there is no turnaround so they have to back up down the street.  They should go down the other street and just cut across, but for some reason they don't, they back up," she said.

At this point, there's no indication Hernandez wasn't following procedure.

Deputies are investigating this case as terrible accident.

"As with any fatal accident, obviously we do a series of investigations.  One of them is to determine if there's any impairment on the driver.  We are not suspecting anything at this point," said Jones.

MCSO says not only was there a driver in the truck, but there was a trainee in the passenger seat.  Neither the driver nor the trainee took a sobriety test on the advice of their lawyers, but MCSO says they don't have any reason to believe the men were impaired, though they do want to learn more about what the driver may have been doing.

But, even the detective working this case, who has been with the sheriff's office for 32 years, says this is unusual behavior for a company.

"His quote to me was he has never had a commercial company invoke their rights on this, never and so the underlying opinion is that there may be something here that they don't want out or something. The bottom line is we're here to provide closure to this family, closure to this case," said MSCO Lt. Brandon Jones.

There's actually a camera on the truck, but it's unclear if video will ever be released because it is the property of Waste Management.

MCSO says it's too early to determine if charges will be filed because the driver and Waste Management are refusing to help them find out if the men were impaired. 

Waste Management gave FOX 10 this statement:

"Waste Management expresses our sincerest, heartfelt condolences to the family involved in yesterday's tragic accident in Maricopa County, Arizona. We are cooperating fully with the Maricopa County Sheriff's office and other local authorities on the investigation."

The Associated Press contributed to this reports.

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